As is the case with any public relations firm, we have done our share of preparing PowerPoint presentations. Although many of our clients prefer using a PowerPoint to going PowerPoint-less, we believe it has become an overused tool, one that is actually more of a crutch than an aid.
We do realize that there are benefits to PowerPoint presentations:
- PowerPoints are simple to use and offer a quick way to organize your thoughts and turn them into an effective presentation.
- PowerPoints emphasize the key parts of your presentation, making it easier for someone to catch the critical points, especially if you are presenting a highly detailed study, report or survey.
- PowerPoints offer countless design templates that can add value to your speech while keeping the attention of your audience.
But there are drawbacks as well:
- Instead of a visual aid for the speaker, the speaker becomes an audio aid for the slides.
- It’s easy to become dependent on a PowerPoint illustration when you could actually find a more creative and interesting way to make a point by forming a mental picture using words.
- To be sincere and authentic, you can’t appear to be too scripted. But with a PowerPoint presentation, you often can’t avoid looking scripted.
That said, we recently saw one of the most entertaining presentations in a long time given by a local leadership trainer. Thinking back, we remember she used a PowerPoint, but we really didn’t even think about the presence of it until now. The point being : A good presenter is a good presenter, whether he or she uses a PowerPoint or not.
On the flip side, what if the Gettysburg Address had been delivered with the aid of a PowerPoint? Check out this PowerPoint presentation of the Gettysburg Address, developed by Peter Norvig, Director of Search Quality at Google, to imagine what Abe Lincoln might have done if he had used PPT rather than the power of oratory at Gettysburg.
If you plan on doing a PowerPoint presentation, you can find some good tips in this article by Brad Phillips in PR Daily.
Posted by Lisa Dimond Vasquez, principal, DoubleDimond Public Relations, LLC.